Sous vide (pronounced as “sue-veed”), is a cooking method that chefs and professional kitchens can use to enhance their cooking and produce high quality gourmet meals. Sous vide, which means “under vacuum” in French, involves cooking foods in a precisely temperature-controlled water bath, whether in a vacuum-sealed bag or not.
Benefits of Sous Vide Cooking
- The most coveted benefit of sous vide cooking for chefs is the unparalleled control they can have over whatever type of food that they want to cook, be it steaks and chops, shrimp and lobster, vegetables, or even large cuts of meat like pork shoulders and lamb legs.
- The next upside to sous vide cooking is its enriched natural flavours. Food that is placed and cooked in vacuum-sealed bags does not lose its flavour or juices as compared to other cooking methods such as pan-frying or barbequing. Also, with the food juices locked in the bag, the essence of the foods and its natural flavours are enhanced. Chefs can preserve all the healthy essential fats, water-soluble vitamins and antioxidants found in foods through sous vide cooking.
- Sous vide cooking encourages convenience and consistency. Food is cooked gently sous vide and at a precise serving temperature. As a result, the food will not become overcooked even if the chef or kitchen staff becomes distracted or delayed. What’s more, sous vide-cooked foods hold for a longer period of time.
- By cooking sous vide, chefs can also get results and textures that are impossible to achieve using traditional cooking methods. For example, steaks will come out of the bath cooked to a preferred temperature from edge to edge while a pork shoulder can be cooked at a significantly lower and stable temperature, making the meat tender with less moisture loss.
Cooking sous vide isn’t complicated or expensive. With precise temperature control and uniformity, a chef can cook food to an even doneness all the way through and also get highly repeatable results every time.
One equipment that certainly helps cooking sous vide possible is a combi oven. Many combi ovens offer the sous vide option, designed specifically for the requirements of vacuum cooking. With an appropriate steam saturation in the cooking cabinet together with accurate holding of the temperature (without destroying the vacuum in the bag), sous vide cooking becomes more prevalent in ensuring consistent food flavour and reproducible food quality. The option also allows gentle cooking which prevents cooking losses.
It looks like combi ovens are a definite hope for sous vide cooking.
Credits: Good Life Report, Chef Steps